It has nearly been a month since we first started the Brass Monkey Challenge, so it is time for an update.
The minimum temperatures have dropped down to 2°C (35.6F) for the last few nights/mornings, and max temps are hovering around 12°C (53.6F).
That is on par with the long-term average, even though the rest of July has been about 2 degrees above this average.
Still no frosts, thankfully, and our challenge is still going strong.
The days have been somewhat sunny, so we keep the window coverings open during the day to let the sunlight heat the lounge, my office, and our bedroom. With the doors and windows closed, these rooms have been heating up to around 18°C during the day.
There is certainly no need for heating in these rooms. My office is staying at that temp for most of the night because my computer keeps the room constant. Who needs a heater when the PC pumps out so much heat!
The rest of the house is around 16°C (60.8F) during the day, and down to 12°C (53.6F) at night. The are tolerable temperatures once you get used to it and dress for the conditions.
Layers are the norm here at the moment. Ben, Kim and I are now quite used to having about three layers on top to stay warm.
No, we are not dressing like Eskimos, more like dressing for a spring day. I have been wearing a t-shirt, flannel shirt, and track-suit jacket on top, and thick woolen or hemp socks, and track-pants on the bottom. No hats or scarves or gloves required. I was wearing fingerless gloves at the start of the challenge, but discontinued use once I adapted.
Guests Do It Tough
With that said, our recent guests, Amy and Kate had a bit of a climate shock when they came over on for dinner and to record the pollution podcast episode.
Both were given coats and hats to keep warm. They are were not the hardened Brass Monkeys that we obviously were. It was quite funny actually, as we discussed this during the podcast episode at around the [27:32] minute mark of the chat. They were all rugged up, and I was not. Quite a stark contrast.
Quieting The Monkey
Yesterday, Maurice from ecoMaster visited and performed the ecoHome Plus assessment. He was here for about 3 hours in total, checking insulation levels, inspecting walls, checking for draughts, and other stuff.
He gave us some verbal feedback before we receive the full report in the next few days.
The first thing he suggested we get done is to get some wall insulation pumped into the wall cavities. We have a brick/veneer home and there was foil insulation fitted when the house was originally built, however this has a very low R factor. There is a 50mm gap in between the bricks and the stud-work that can be filled.
We have no idea of the cost until we get the main report, but I am willing to dive into my deep pockets to get it done.
Additionally, the windows need to be replaced with double glazing, as they are not very efficient. With aluminium frames that are rotting, and glass that is single pane, they are highly efficient conductors of heat. Not very good when you are trying to keep your home warm. Again, not sure of the cost, but it will not be cheap.
One Month Remaining
With only one month of winter remaining, I think we will make it to the end of the challenge quite easily.
No natural gas has been expended on heating so far, so therefore no GHG emission have been created. I am looking forward to our next gas bill at the end of the month!
Kim has had the energy-efficient reverse cycle air-conditioner on for an hour in the morning to heat up her south-facing office, and on for another in the evening. She only has a laptop, so her room temperature drops during the evening. As we purchase GreenPower, we only use renewable energy to power our home, so no GHG emissions for this little bit of heating.
I am looking forward to spring and the warmth that it brings. It will be a flurry of activity in the garden as well, but we will be able to reduce the layers (like an Ogre) and warm up a bit.
I am also looking forward to start work on making our home more comfortable with wall insulation and double glazing, but will have to assess the timeframes when we see how much it will cost.
How are you going on your Brass Monkey Challenge? Coping alright? Keeping warm enough?